Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

Chapter 2 – Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough

 

Shortly before 7pm, Chin Chin set the table for dinner.  Since she was still waiting for Fei to return with the take-out food, she decided to bring his clean laundry into his room.  After placing the clothes on his bed, she noticed the window was slightly ajar and cold air was coming in.  So she reached over and closed it.  Turning around, she bumped against his desk and knocked a binder over causing a stash of papers to scatter unto the floor.  Chin Chin recognized the binder right away, it was the one which Fei kept all his important documents like banking contracts, tax statements, degrees and transcripts, along with his personal documents such as birth certificate, passport, and health records. 
 
As she gathered the papers from the floor, a document caught her eyes.  It was a court order.  She was curious and started skimming the document.  When she realized the legal document was for the new property that she and Fei were to move to in the near future, she scanned for key words that would reveal why Fei was ordered to appear in court.  After reading the first line, she understood why Fei kept putting her off whenever she asked to see the condo.  Every time Chin Chin asked him to take her to the condo, he would tell her it was not safe due to the renovation.  With the legal document in her hand, everything became crystal clear when she noticed the names on the subject removal fields of the court order.  Now she understood how Fei had come into possession of the condo and why he had committed himself to such a large monthly mortgage payment nearly two months ago. 

After coming to terms with the information, she let out a deep sigh and shook her head.  Looking at the clock, she was surprised it was already half past seven and that Fei had not called to inform her that he would be late.  She proceeded to pick up the phone by his bed and dialed his cell number again.

 

 

Meanwhile, shortly before 7pm, on another side of town, an elderly woman living in the same apartment building as Kwan opened the door of her home and stepped outside with a big car tire-size metal bowl. She stooped and placed it directly in front of the door entrance.  After that, she stood up and lifted her head to the sky.  She started chanting a prayer to several Gods, asking them to protect her grandson who was on a flight to England.  She specifically prayed that the spirits from Flight 990 would not interfere with her grandson’s flight and asked that the plan her grandson was on would land safely in London, England. 
 
After saying her prayers, she turned around and squatted in front to the metal bowl.  She reached for the match box that was sitting on top of a bunch of offering paper money and lighted a fire to it.  Because the woman lived one floor below Kwan, it only took about 5 minutes for the smoke to fill up the entire hallway and staircase that led to her home.  A couple was struggling to go up the stairscase and they were having problems seeing due to the thick smoke.  They were huffing and coughing by the time they found the door.  Feeling the door post through the thick smoke, the woman managed to ring the doorbell.

 

 

“Are you guys expecting someone?”  Kwan asked Ah Kit upon hearing the doorbell chime.  He shook his head and then Kwan walked to the door to check who it was.  But she could not see through the peep-hole.  “It’s all covered by smoke out there.”

 
Fei and Chi Shan took caution and immediately went towards Kwan who was about to open the door.  Ah Kit and Ah Yuk followed behind them.
 
Kwan gasped at the first sight of her aunt and her dad, they were standing in the smoke.  Bui Yee had her head down and was still searching through her purse when the door drew open quietly.  Kwan thought she was seeing their spirits in the smoke.  She hesitantly reached out to touch Bui Yee by the head, who then made a sudden high pitch yelp before realizing it was her niece touching her.  Then Bui Yee and Mr. Mo were shot with the following questions. 
 
“You guys are alive?”
“You’re not dead?”
“Is it really you guys?”
 
“How can this be?”  Kwan knew it was Bui Yee the moment her aunt yelped.
 
“You guys didn’t board the plane!” Fei stated in relief.
 

  

“What in heaven's name are you guys talking about?”  Bui Yee was glad to enter the house and be away from the thickening smoke.  “Of course we are alive!”
 
Mr. Mo entered the house as Fei and Chi Shan helped to bring in 4 pieces of luggage.  Kwan hugged Bui Yee and Ah Kit did the same. 
 
“Wow, this is nice!” Bui Yee was touched by the welcome. She turned to Mr. Mo and nudged him playfully. “We ought to go traveling more often.”           
 
“I’m so glad you guys are okay!” Kwan gave her dad a big tight hug.           
 
“Why wouldn’t we be okay?” Mr. Mo chuckled. 
 
After her daughter released him from the hug, Fei came and shook his hand.  He drew Fei into a hug as well.  “I see you and Kwan are okay too, right?  So everybody is okay!”           
 
Bui Yee grabbed Kwan’s hands and eyed Fei with a big smile. “As long as you two are okay, then we are also okay.”
 
Fei got himself choked up and was not able to answer the impending question from Mr. Mo while Kwan purposely ignored her aunt’s play of words.  She tried to change the subject mainly for Fei’s sake who was still recovering from his choke. “Your itinerary said you were on Flight 990 to Egypt,” Kwan nodded to the TV that was still broadcasting the Breaking News. 
 
Bui Yee and Mr. Mo finally turned their attention to the television.           
 
“Why didn’t you tell us you changed your flight?  We talked over the phone on Friday morning.”  Kwan questioned Bui Yee.
 
“Well we changed our mind about going to Egypt after Ah Kit told us …..”  Bui Yee was stopped by Mr. Mo’s elbow nudge, so she quickly changed their reason.  “Well, we wanted to come back and surprise everyone.  That’s why we didn’t call!”           
 
“We really thought we would never see you both again,” Ah Kit added, “Sis was crying for you both!”  
 
Kwan squeezed Bui Yee’s hands to let her know Ah Kit was telling the truth, but instead she noticed a diamond ring and a wedding band on her left hand.  She held the hand up for everyone to see. “Oh?  What is this?"
 
Bui Yee suddenly turned smitten and looked to Mr. Mo in a most girlish way. “It was his idea!”           

  

   

Mr. Mo put his arm around her shoulders and made the formal introduction.  “Let me introduce you all to my wife, Mrs. Mo!”
 
With that said, a chain of congratulations, handshakes, and hugs were exchanged and laughter of joy filled the once gloomy room.          
 
“Sorry you didn’t get to be my bride’s maid at my wedding, it was just a registry in Vegas.” Bui Yee apologized to Kwan.  Then she put on a cheeky grin and eyed Fei. “I would rather see her as your bride instead.”           
 
Kwan picked up her aunt’s teasing right away and noticed everyone around her were in agreement.  Chi Shan was the only person who was aware of her official breakup with Fei. 
 
Saying nothing, Kwan turned to look at Fei whose facial expression showed he was still living in emotional turmoil.  Not wanting him to feel bad, she tried to brush the topic off and made light of the matter.  “Perhaps in your dreams!”           
 
The dejected look on Fei’s expression told Bui Yee that things were definitely not hunky dory between him and Kwan.  Being sensible to not make the mood turn sour, Bui Yee suggested they all go out for dinner together.
 
“Yes, as sad as today is for families and friend who lost their loved ones, I must say I’m grateful to be alive.” Mr. Mo added. 
 
“Yes, and tonight’s dinner will be my treat! I am so very thankful right now!”  Kwan looped her arm around Bui Yee.  “Thankful because I have a new Mom!”  Then she looped her dad’s arm.  “And thankful I’m not an orphan because you both decided to come home!” 
 
After deciding where they were going to have dinner, Kwan noticed Fei was on the phone with Chin Chin.  So she walked up to him and forced herself to look into his eyes.  "Umm…it’s okay if you’d rather go home to have dinner with Chin Chin.  She probably put a lot of effort in making you dinner tonight.”  
 

Kwan noticed his wounded expression and her heart softened once again.  “Perhaps Chin Chin can join us.  You can go fetch her!”
 
Before Fei had a chance to respond, Kwan had already entered her room and closed the door behind her.  She needed to take a time-out, especially from Fei.  Standing against the door, she told herself to get a grip.  She was well aware of the emotional turmoil brewing in her heart because the whole fiasco had brought back memories of her days with Fei.  With her head against the door, she could hear Fei’s voice.  He was talking on the phone. 
 
Kwan was glad when Fei started walking away from her room for she didn’t want to listen to his one-sided conversation with Chin Chin.  She took in a deep breath and told herself to get real.  Once again, reminding herself that sometimes love just ain’t enough to solve the problems between her and Fei; especially when Chin Chin was no longer a shadow or a memory.

 

Ending Song = Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough - by Patty Smyth and Don Henley

https://youtu.be/W9WybfmVviM

Chapter 3